Nearly Three-in-Ten Employers Have Caught a Fake Reference on a Job Application

A new study from CareerBuilder cautions job seekers about the references they cite when applying to companies. Three-in-five employers (62%) said that when they contacted a reference listed on an application, the reference didn’t have good things to say about the candidate. Twenty-nine percent of employers reported that they have caught a fake reference on a candidate’s application.

The study included 2,494 hiring managers and human resource professionals and 3,976 workers across industries and company sizes. The study reported that 80% of employers said they do contact references when evaluating potential employees. Sixteen percent of these employers will contact references even before they call the candidate for a job interview.

Sixty-nine percent of employers said they have changed their minds about a candidate after speaking with a reference, with 47% reporting they had a less favorable opinion and 23% reporting they had a more favorable opinion. Thirty-one percent said references haven’t swayed their decisions on a candidate one way or the other.

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